And Soom The Darkness

Ukranian doom band album Soom have their album Dzhyebars (NO NAME) released on that broad-minded net label in Russia which has no name and was set up by Anton Kitaev and his friends in 2011. This combo execute a strange strain of haunted, melodic slow music which I think is being palmed off to us as something to do with their “ancient, mystical Ukranian folk” roots; whatever’s getting into their bones, it has inspired them to tear off some pretty anthemic throat-wobblers in places. The other side of their music is the more familiar heavy sludge that is the accepted lingua franca of this genre – low-tuned guitars, crushing drumbeats, hideous growled vocals, and grim feedback distortion through massive amps that packs a wallop to the torso of all who dare approach. While this album Dzhyebars certainly flattens the tarmac where it ought to, I find that Soom haven’t quite reconciled all the musical elements they wish to expound into a digestible whole; they fall one or two slopes short of the mythical mountain they wish to erect in their mind. From 13 May 2019.

Finding Monsta’s 3 (OPA LOKA RECORDS OL1902) a bit of an endurance test on early spins, but now I’m slowly growing to accept the cold and lonely charms of this dreary isolation-chamber music. Boaz Bentur is Monsta from Israel and he made the entire album – two long tracks of never-ending ambient gloom – with just his bass guitar and effects. Among the effects he leans heavily on the echo or digital delay, which allows him to spin out these languid, spacey phrases – one can’t really call them “riffs” – for all eternity, or at least until the alarm clock goes off. What begins as something stark and near-empty is eventually filled out into a gloomoid liquid chamber of molasses mixed with tar, within which environment a fellow is expected to sink or swim with lead weights around the feet. Apparently Bentur is trying to inculcate a situation suitable for a form of “psychedelic meditation”, and the press notes go on to provide a vivid description of a roomful of disciples lying on the floor in an ocean of musical sound with their eyes tight shut. Did this actually happen, or is it just wishful thinking on the part of Bentur? One hour of slow muffled dark ambient soft velvet blackness. (28/05/2019)

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